In a shock development this morning, the former Shadow Business Secretary and MP for Streatham, along with 6 other Labour MPs announced his resignation from the party citing the party leadership’s failures over Brexit, anti-Semitism and a culture of bullying in the party which had left them no choice.
The group of lawmakers, calling themselves “The Independent Group”, included Chuka Umunna, who had at one point been seen as a future leadership candidate, and Luciana Berger, who has been outspoken about the party’s approach to anti-Semitism. Berger, who is Jewish and eight months pregnant, faced a no confidence vote from her own Labour branch.
British born Nigerian Chuka Umunna who has been the Labour lawmaker for Streatham in South London since 2010, has called for other MPs to join them and the group will have their first formal meeting in the coming days.
“It is time we dumped this country’s old-fashioned politics and created an alternative that does justice to who we are today” He said.
In his statement after announcing his resignation, Chuka said on his Twitter wall “I became a political activist to serve my community and to change the country for the better. My decision today – which has been painful and difficult – is rooted in the values and principles which I have always held”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was disappointed in their decision to leave the party.
Vowing to ‘change politics’, the new ‘Independent Group’ of MPs – drawn from different generations of Labour – also includes Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey and Mike Gapes. They accused Mr Corbyn of turning Labour into a racist party that weakens national security, accepts the ‘narrative’ of Britain’s enemies and lashed him for facilitating Brexit.
Defections would be biggest split since four senior figures left party in 1980s to form SDP.